|reworked piece from last post 24"x24"|
We covered a lot of ground in 10 days for island dwellers. We camped in the mountains, played a Tibetan drum by a green lake, ate out with friends at a place called The High Level Diner, drank strong, dark coffee in Nelson, wandered the only desert in Canada and popped cherries into our mouths straight from the tree.
Life is surprising if you let it be. Often when I return home I feel a little lost, like "what do I do here again?" Sometimes I feel like a period at the end of a sentence that wants to keep on going. But this time was different. I noticed how quiet my piece of earth is; no sounds of air brakes or trains or the hum of refrigeration units. There was the joy of garden and paint, the air warm like a tepid bath, a deer browsing the weeds in the lawn, a tiny bunny feeding, the quail having a dust bath in the flower bed.
Our conversation was about simplicity and complexity and how I love work that is simple and spare but that isn't what comes out of me when I paint. I realized that I spit out the word "complexity" as if it is an insult. I don't seek complexity in my work but it finds me. Her wise comment was something like, "isn't that neat how the painting is so honest?" News flash: it's not about what I want but it's about something less defined, more ethereal, it's about what's in me that wants to be said. It's not about someone else's painting I love with my name on it. The painting process bypasses the thinking mind which can be maddening to control freaks who think they know what they want. You can argue with the canvas and paint if you like. But be prepared to be frustrated. I speak from experience (the frustrated part, I mean). So it was freeing to finally be open to what came out on to the canvas without wanting it to be some particular way, to embrace complexity even. There was an energy to that openness that doesn't come from wanting something in particular.
So the value of hurtling down the highway, heading always towards home in a round about way, is that if you are lucky home will look completely different than you imagined when you get there. If you're lucky you will have a friend waiting there with some wise words.
Oh yeah and that's the thing that we love about the open road. It's open.